THREE charities have been shortlisted for the Charity of the Year at the Pride of Cumbria Awards.

The charities have been doing tremendous work to help our area and have managed to reach the top three in the category of the competition.

Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory service spoke to us about their work.

Lee Williams, the company’s CEO, said: “It’s a brilliant surprise because we’re so focused on the work that we are doing we rarely get the chance to celebrate.

“So, to be shortlisted is great.”

The service supports people in the area who are having trouble dealing with drug and alcohol misuse.

The group provides confidential support and guidance to help people regain their footing in life.

After operating for more than 40 years the group has been able to develop the service to four centres across the county.

Two of the centres support the people of north and west Cumbria, including a centre in Workington and Carlisle.

With hardworking staff and volunteers, Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory service is able to offer a range of advice and treatment.

Nowadays, drug and alcohol abuse is something that affects people from all walks of life, so the work that Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service do is essential.

Ms. Williams added: “It’s important to highlight the work of charities like ours.

“Because we operate discreetly it’s hard for people to see what we do, so we’re delighted to be nominated.”

Another outstanding charity that has been nominated is Space to Create, which offers those in need a rather unique service, by supporting people through art.

Mat Butler from Space 2 Create, said: “It’s fantastic to know that we are giving people what they need.

“We feel pride and assurance to know that we are doing the right thing.”

Space 2 Create offer arts classes and creative sessions for people who are suffering from health issues.

The group has managed to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic through virtual classes.

Tablets and other arts facilities were provided to those who may have otherwise been unable to take part.

Those who take part in the group are usually those suffering from mood difficulties, which may be caused by both mental and physical health problems.

Mr Butler said: “It is said that when people become involved in art and other creative projects their mood and wellbeing begin to improve.”

The caters for all people, regardless of the cause of their difficulties and aims to help participants as best they can.

As the restrictions in regards to the pandemic are beginning to ease, the group is allowing people to come to in-person sessions at their centre in Kendal, social distancing measures are to remain in place.

The third nominee is Furness Multicultural Community Forum.

The charity, based in Barrow, helps young people in the area across multicultural communities.

Janine Adams, the lead chief and community worker said: “We’re over the moon to be nominated because we’re such a small team, but we are very dedicated.

“It means a lot to our team and also the people who use our service, as they are delighted for us.”

The forum’s youth club currently helps up to 20 children in the local area.

The forum also holds events to support the multicultural community, including an outdoor celebration for Eid this year, which about 80 people attended.

The group has also worked with individuals who have been the victim of crime, including human trafficking and domestic violence.

The group also strongly encourages and help people to report hate crimes as this is becoming a growing issue.

Mrs Adams said: “The level of work we’ve achieved has been quite extensive.”